In this article, I perform an acoustemology of comedy’s alibis in contemporary media. I listen for means by which laughter—its emission, contagion, suppression—can serve as audible barometers of how alibis either fly or bomb. A paradox emerges from the ways spontaneous-sounding laughter can simultaneously free us from societal scripts while shackling us within our own telltale, tittering bodies. A laugher’s accountability poses a moving target precisely because so much of comedy’s generic success relies on procedures of failure, impropriety, and breakage. Through three progressive cases, I delve into modern technologies of taking back laughter via the breaking and hacking of cultural texts. Each case features a do-it-yourself (DIY) phenomenon that exposes the stakes and choreographies of comedy’s consumer sovereignties: first, television fans who, through techniques of editing and recomposition, remove laugh tracks from comedies (The Big Bang Theory, Friends) or, inversely, add laugh tracks to dramas (Breaking Bad, The Wire), using the silence or surplus sound to break the show’s original mood; second, a YouTube game show that tries to make contestants break into smiles or laughter by presenting them with outrageous videos; and, third, Apollo Theater audience members who, through brash laughter and boos, use their collective judge-it-yourself authority to make or break the dreams of hopeful performers on amateur nights. All three of these examples hinge on the breakage of norms and the breaking in of new normals, embodying or eliciting laughter that may variously sound ambivalent, uncomfortable, or out of line. Lending a musicological ear to laughter’s stubborn materialities and technical hackability opens resonant perspectives into some of comedy’s funniest alibis. I conclude with a tribute to laughter’s Debbie Downer cousin: the groan.